How Hard Could COVID-19 Hit Your County? Check These Maps.
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COVID-19 has hit local communities across the US, from the largest city in the nation to rural areas in the Mountain West. But the impact of the coronavirus and the inherent vulnerability of the local population varies widely from place to place.
The maps below allow you to search by address or city for any location in the US and see statistics at the county level for confirmed COVID-19 cases and reported deaths. They also provide data on measures of social and economic vulnerability in your area, as well as preexisting medical conditions commonly found in people hospitalized with COVID-19.
Use the controls at bottom left of each map to see different views of the data. You can also click or tap on the maps to see the numbers for any county. On all the maps, more intense, darker colors show counties that have been hit harder by COVID-19 or may be more vulnerable to an outbreak.
How hard has your county been hit?
This map shows confirmed cases and recorded deaths from COVID-19 compiled by the New York Times and USAFacts. Individual counties are colored by their case and death rates per 100,000 people. If a county appears transparent on either map layer, it has not yet recorded a case or death.
It’s important to remember that there are differences in the extent of testing for the virus across the country, which means that the number of cases being missed will vary from place to place. What’s more, some deaths from COVID-19 may not have been accurately recorded. The map will be regularly updated as new data becomes available.
The map of COVID-19 cases shows that the coronavirus has spread across most of the nation. However, deaths from the disease are so far clustered in hot spots, mostly but not exclusively in large cities — initially led by New York City, New Orleans, and Detroit.
Note that for sparsely populated, rural counties, just a few cases or deaths can make the rates per 100,000 people look especially large.
How vulnerable is your county’s population?
This map shows a measure called the Social Vulnerability Index, calculated in 2018 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It assigns each location a score from 0 to 1, based on factors including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing that make communities more vulnerable to disasters including outbreaks of infectious disease. Counties with higher scores have populations that will be more likely to suffer “human suffering and financial loss” in the event of a disaster.
You can switch the displayed map layer to see the proportion of people 65 years of age or older, and the proportion of the population that is black, according to 2018 data from the US Census Bureau. The popups that appear when you search or click the map also show the percentile that each county falls in for elderly and black residents compared to counties across the nation.
Studies conducted by the CDC have shown that people aged 65 and over are more likely than younger people to be hospitalized or to die from COVID-19.
Statistics being released by several states and cities also indicate that the coronavirus is disproportionately killing black Americans. This is thought to be because of social and economic factors. For instance, black Americans are more likely to work in jobs that expose them to infection, typically have poorer access to health care, and are also more likely to live in overcrowded housing where the risk of infection is high.
Many of the counties with the highest proportion of elderly people are in rural areas — but there are also large concentrations of older people in some cities, including those along Florida’s coasts. The black population is concentrated in the South and in large cities including Chicago and Detroit.
How badly is your county affected by medical conditions that may make COVID-19 more dangerous?
The CDC reported that almost 90% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US in March had an underlying medical condition, including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. This map shows the most recent available county-level data on the prevalence of diabetes, plus death rates from chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Diabetes is most common in the South and disproportionately affects black Americans. Some of the highest death rates from cardiovascular and respiratory disease occur in counties in rural Appalachia.
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- These Charts And Maps Show How Each State Is Handling The Coronavirus CrisisPeter Aldhous · March 28, 2020
- Why The Coronavirus Is Killing Black Americans At Outsize Rates Across The USDan Vergano · April 10, 2020
Peter Aldhous is a Science Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Peter Aldhous at [email protected]
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Jeremy Singer-Vine is the data editor for the BuzzFeed News investigative unit and is based in New York.
Contact Jeremy Singer-Vine at [email protected]
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